Secularization of Marriage Ritual Among the Ameru in Kenya
The Ameru are a Bantu group of people who inhabit Meru and Tharaka Nithi Counties of Kenya. This paper examines how the ritual of marriage was conducted in the traditional setup and the changes that it has undergone with the coming of European missionaries and the influence of the Western ways of life since 1912. In order to contextualize the discussion, the following questions are addressed. First, how was marriage practised among the indigenous Ameru? Second, what are the changes that have affected this ritual in contemporary society? The Secularization theory is adopted to explain the changes that have taken place in this important rite of passage. The findings of this study are based on research conducted in Meru and Tharaka Nithi counties in Kenya. The study reveals that the Ameru society is dynamic and marriage as observed in the contemporary society is no longer practised the way it was before they interacted with the European missionaries. The indigenous positive cultural values should be accommodated while adjusting to modernity.
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Copyright (c) 2021 Jona Mbaabu Karicha, Stephen Ifedha Akaranga, PhD, Telesia K Musili, PhD
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